Why did Diana and Charles divorce? How long were Royals married, who ended it, why did he not marry Camilla

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The couple married in a lavish wedding ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in 1981

The Crown Season 5 will soon be back on Netflix. This season could be the most gripping yet, with key focus placed on the separation and divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

The series will even include the infamous tampongate scandal, which saw the press leak extracts from an intimate phone call between the then married Princes Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

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The pair had previously dated in the 1970s, with Charles returning from his stint in the Royal Navy to discover Camillia had married Andrew Parker Bowles. It would be decades and two divorces later until the couple eventually tied the knot in 2005.

The Crown has introduced a new generation to the complicated and heartbreaking royal love story. So, why did Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorce, how long where they married for and why didn’t he just marry Camilla? Here’s everything you need to know.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorced in 1996 (Pic: Getty Images)Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorced in 1996 (Pic: Getty Images)
Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially divorced in 1996 (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty Images

Why did Princess Diana and Prince Charles divorce?

Princess Diana and Prince Charles officially divorced in 1996, with the couple separating in 1992. There are many reasons that lead up to the royal couple calling it quits. Firstly, the pair did not know each other very well before they got married. Reported by Cosmopolitan, Diana revealed in personal tapes with voice coach Peter Settelen that they had only “met 13 times” before their wedding day.

There was also a significant age gap with Diana being 19-years-old when the couple met and Charles being 32-years-old. However the main reason that the couple’s relationship ended was due Prince Charles still being in love with Camilla Parker Bowles, whom he had dated in the 1970s.

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The pair are believed to have continued their love affair after they both married, with the infamous phone call, dubbed the tampongate scandal revealing them declaring they need one another being leaked in the press in 1992.

Reported by the Daily Express, Diana noticed something was going on between the pair on her honeymoon, with Prince Charles wearing “some cufflinks that Camilla had given him with two ‘Cs’ entwined” which stood for Charles and Camillia. On another occasion Diana and Charles had been comparing their diaries when a photograph of Camilla fell out of his. Prince Charles would later admit to his infidelity for the first time in 1994.

Princess Diana returns to Kensington Palace after the announcement that she and the Prince of Wales are officially separating (Pic: AFP via Getty Images) Princess Diana returns to Kensington Palace after the announcement that she and the Prince of Wales are officially separating (Pic: AFP via Getty Images)
Princess Diana returns to Kensington Palace after the announcement that she and the Prince of Wales are officially separating (Pic: AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

How long were they married?

Princess Diana married Prince Charles in the Royal Wedding of the century on 29 July, 1981, the couple’s divorce was finalised on 29 August, 1996, meaning their marriage lasted for 15 years.

Who ended the relationship?

The couple jointly announced their separation on 10 December, 1992. A statement was read out in Parliament by then Prime Minister John Major in an address to the nation. He said: “This decision has been reached amicably and they will both continue to participate fully in the upbringing of their children,” adding: “The Royal Highnesses have no plans to divorce, and their constitutional positions are unaffected.”

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However, the couple would eventually divorce, it would take until 1996 for The Queen and Prince Philip to give them permission.

Why did Prince Charles not marry Camilla?

Charles and Camilla met in the 1970s through a mutual friend at a polo match. The pair mixed in the same social circles and began dating, breaking their relationship off when Charles had to leave for Royal Navy service in 1973. When Charles returned, he discovered Camilla had married army officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

There are rumours that Charles was persuaded not to pursue things with Camilla due to her lower social standing and overall image. He was instructed to choose a different match, with Prince Charles marrying Princess Diana in 1981.

Camilla would eventually divorce Bowles in 1994, with Charles and Diana officially divorcing in 1996. It would take another nine years before Charles and Camilla would get married in 2005.

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